Mayor Robert Garcia, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal and DDR Corp., the Ohio-based operator of the rebranded Pike Outlets, announced Wednesday that Nike and Forever 21 will be joining H&M and an expanded Restoration Hardware outlet at the South Pine shopping center.
A renovation of the area, including the addition and revitalization of common areas, walkways and streets currently being redesigned to enhance traffic flow is already underway, while the entire transformation of The Pike to The Pike Outlets is targeted to be complete by late summer or fall of 2015.
Mayor Garcia said that the City has been trying for years to make The Pike successful, saying that since it opened in the early 2000s the space has never been designed to fully live up to its potential. While the restaurants and hotel accommodations, such as P.F. Changs and Hyatt were a success, "we never got the retail right," said Garcia.
H&M, Nike, Forever 21 and Restoration Hardware will be the four anchor tenants, explained Garcia, and will take up quite a bit of square footage at The Pike Outlets. According to DDR Corp., H&M and Forever 21 will be "full line" tenants, not outlet stores, while Nike and Restoration Hardware will be outlet stores. According to the Mayor, The Pike Outlets is putting over $65 million of private capital investment into this center.
"The best news, of course, is that this is not the end," said Garcia. "And so while these are the four that have signed the leases, there is a nice great list of others that are in the pipeline that as soon as those leases are signed we'll make sure we let everybody know about that exciting news as well."
Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, who moved into a downtown Long Beach she described as a "ghost town" in the late 90s and early 2000s, was more than delighted to be announcing the arrival of the four retail giants, a culmination of her dedicated faith in the possibility of transforming the once-desolate area into a now promising all-day destination for families, individuals, residents and visitors.
"It has been a long time coming," she said proudly. "As an urban planner I try to look at the streetscape and the landscape as a work in progress. It's hard to look at structures like this as an open canvas because you have the built environment, but what I'm very, very proud about with The Pike, and all of its partners, DLBA included, the City included, is despite the fact that we have hard infrastructure, we have treated this as an open canvas."
"[...]someone has to be first and I will never forget that Restoration Hardware took a chance on Long Beach and that is why others are coming," Lowenthal continued emphatically. "And so I'm really delighted to be here, to share in this moment, together with Restoration Hardware, H&M, your commitment to The Pike Outlets sends a clear message to everyone that downtown Long Beach is open for business."
Not being able to shop in her own city was never a point of contention, she explained, but a reason to aspire to achieve that goal.
"It's taken us a while but we have finally proven to our residents that this is not only a city that we believe in, because we live here, but it's a city that everyone else can believe in," she reiterated.
Mayor Garcia concluded by saying that the rebranding and remodeling of the Pike is a part of a much bigger initiative to revitalize all of downtown, as well as connect The Pike Outlets and lower Pine Ave. to the myriad businesses of upper Pine Ave. The Mayor explained that the City plans to build over 4,000 residential units in downtown over the next 10 years.
"The retail piece as you can see, is already starting and growing so we're incredibly proud of this. I shop at H&M, I've shopped at H&M for a long time, not in Long Beach, unfortunately because we haven't had one, so I look forward to coming by here and being able to enjoy this great center," he concluded.